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Ribbon FINLAND 100
Multilingualism in schools

Speaking and Participating

location_on Helsinki, Finland
This model helps teachers support a multilingual environment where students can build their multilingual identity in a diverse classroom. The innovation provides teachers tools to build their own theory-in-use and exercises to support multilingualism in the classroom.
Education is not just doing, it's also thinking. Education and teaching is about seeing things from a new perspective and finding an understanding.

- Katrianna Raunio (class teacher), Marja Salerto (class teacher), Maria Ahlholm (university lecturer)


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

Key figures

Innovation Overview

7 - 12
Age Group
Updated on February 1st, 2021
about the innovation

What is it all about?

Teachers work regularly with culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. The students may not have a uniform culture background and a shared prior knowledge so the teacher cannot base the instruction on these aspects.

This setting poses challenges both for teaching and learning. As an illustration, many textbooks are based on the idea that the children have a shared experiential world in which new concepts are then “planted.” Many things that seem self-evident, such as seasons (is summer followed by spring or fall?), can be left meaningless for some because they have no personal experience of them.

Therefore, the concepts taught can feel superficial and abstract to the students. Language education can even become mechanical and unconnected in the worst scenarios. This is why we must create completely new premises for teaching.

In multilingual classrooms the learners' mother tongues are present even when the teacher cannot recognize their expressions. This can produce anxiety in the teacher and students. We must create a dialogue and start developing ways to bring good practices from multilingual pedagogy to multilingual classrooms.

This model aims to assist teachers to support multilingualism in the classroom. Another goal is to help teachers support their students building a multilingual identity. The following five steps provide teachers tools to build their own theory-in-use (the terms) and exercises to support multilingualism in the classroom.


HundrED Academy Review


Speaking and Participating is a pedagogically well-researched model that helps teachers face an educational challenge that is becoming more common.


Students feel included when they are seen as individuals with distinct backgrounds.


Schools all around the world have a growing need for this innovation.


See this innovation in action


Achievements & Awards

November 2017
Finland 100
June 2017
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Term: Translanguaging
Translanguaging refers to pedagogy conscientiously using bilingual or multilingual discourse practices to build the learners' multilingual reality.
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Term: Hidden Curriculum
Hidden curriculum means all those norms and attitudes of the school and teachers that guide the learning even if they are not written in the official curriculum.
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Term: The Learning Equation
Good teachers are able to convey the knowledge from the textbooks in clear, simple terms to the students.
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